I tend to remind people, constantly, and usually during arguments about social issues, that my bachelor’s degree and general interests lie in sociology, and that I have about ten years of social work experience working with people from all walks of life.
This isn’t me JUST feeling myself and parading around my credentials whenever I want. It’s partially that, but it’s also my attempt to remind people that reading about, studying, analyzing and dissecting social behavior is life. And I think, often, when we discuss politics, media, language, and even economics, we take sociology and social sciences for granted. Specifically with articles like this one.
Now, you can chastise me for getting my news from humor websites like Cracked, (Or liberal news media like Jezebel, or Vice), but I can argue that getting information from these sources is also a sociological and widespread response, and I think often, when we argue one on one, it’s very easy to ignore and overlook the big picture.
|Like this one|
But the thing is, everything that involves human behavior is sociology. Before primate humans had spoken language, they had to find other ways to communicate, to convey thoughts and feelings and urges, and our ancestors used what was available to them, including our own physiological abilities to communicate non-verbally.
Nonverbal communication continued to be important during times when our survival depended on trusting and trading with other people from different cultures who spoke different languages. And it was particularly important during times when women were considered sluts for exposing an ankle in front of mixed company. I say this jokingly, but I’m serious. Blushing, blinking and smiling coyly were my primary methods of communication when I was 12 and my parents were like, right there.
Nonverbal communication and body language are still important forms of communication. Just because you can’t measure it on a scale, it does not mean it’s not real or important for our survival. Sociology and human behavior are also important when it come to politics, economics and unrest.
You can’t have a stable political climate if you do not participate. You can not have a healthy economy if people don’t have money to spend. And you cannot have peace when there are massive gaps in social wealth.
And either not enough people are saying it, or not enough people are listening. So I’ll make it easy. Let’s start with the Cracked article:
Why do human females have large breasts?
Because sex is gross and the more self-aware you become, the more you realize how gross it is and our bodies had to make it appealing somehow.
Why do cats purr?
To cute their humans into submission and make them think it’s their idea that they have a cat.
Why do we reproduce sexually?
Bonding, bitch. It’s harder to walk out on someone when they’ve licked your ass.
Why do women menstruate?
Built in clock. Way to have control over pregnancy. Monthly NOT PREGNANT party complete with cramps.
Why do we hiccup?
Nerves/ ate too much/ probably nerves.
Why do we blush?
Because actually saying you’re embarrassed is embarrassing.
Why do we have pubic hair?
Because it’s pretty much an arrow to your naughty bits, and a preemptive warning that it’s gonna get musky.
Why do we kiss?
Seriously do you not know how fun kissing is? Also, bonding.
Why do we cry?
Less violent emotional release. Also, social cue.
Why do people sneeze when looking at the sun?
Probably a reaction to the vitamin d. (Phrasing)
Why do tomatoes have more genes than humans?
Got me there.
Why do we have sinuses?
Sense of smell is also connected to memory and emotions. It’s not a real answer but when you add these factors you may get a more concrete answer.
Why do we sometimes twitch in our sleep/jerk ourselves awake?
OK, OK, so you’re going about your day just fine, and then you like, go to lie there prone for HOURS, and someone could theoretically come and kill you. You don’t think your body knows that? Have you considered that your body is trying to save you??
What is 98% of our DNA supposed to do?
Clearly shit we don’t know and is probably still beyond our grasp.
What causes the nocebo effect?
Ok, so one time when I was like, 6, I was playing sick. I’d found a small hand towel and thought it would be funny to douse it in alcohol and pretend to have a fever. And can I just tell you, I had the WORST fever I can remember. What I mean is, the brain is a powerful thing. Ever wake up one morning and remembered something shitty, and it just ruined your whole fucking day/ week? Yeah. That powerful.
Why people taste things differently?
Because we ARE ALL DIFFERENT.
What drives tectonic plates?
A guess? Momentum.
Why do humans have chins?
Because thinking of Nick Bateman is what gets me through some days. Seriously, humans base like 90% of their decisions on attractiveness. Strong jaw? Ohhh, baby.
Why are most Caucasian babies born with blue eyes that get darker with age?
Hmmm, dominant genes taking their time to kick in? (I said I was a sociologist, not a geneticist)
Why do humans smile?
Because I don’t wanna lose my pride but I can still cut a bitch.
Why are only 10% of people left-handed?
Well, as a lefty who had her arm tied down with a fucking brace in fucking KINDERGARTEN because it was a bad habit that needed to be corrected, I can assure you that left-handed people were being persecuted as recently as the 80’s. Recent studies have shown that this number is evening out the more we stop being assholes.
What causes static electricity?
Why do we have allergies?
Because our bodies are bitches that think they can just up and decide, “Nope, I don’t like that,” at any time. Like in the middle of a date. Having a banana split with mixed nuts. Right before a movie. And next thing you know you’ve snapped the straps on the borrowed shoes you’re wearing.
Why do people have different sexual orientation?
Because attraction, arousal, and interest are all determined by several factors over a wide spectrum.
Humans have been spending so much time focusing on what we can’t do, and what we shouldn’t, and a lot less on what we can and what is possible. The thing is, as a species, we are no longer struggling to survive. We’ve conquered the elements and we’ve conquered the land (often from other people) and we are reaching, what I’d like to believe, is the Thought Revolution.
Do you feel like you hear more and horrible news every day? Do you think people are just getting worse no matter what you do? That feeling is not just in your head. Science has proven that the more empathetic we become, the more we perceive that the world is getting worse. The trick is to acknowledge that empathy, but to not led the existential dread set in.
|Seriously, don’t let it.|
And the big picture is, that’s exactly what our society is going through. People are being forced to look to themselves and their peers and really consider, Are we doing the right thing? Am I a good person? Have I made the right decisions? And those questions are scary. The answers can be even scarier. And it can be really, really easy to just ignore it. The problem is that at this point in our society, ignoring our internal lives is just not smart. Our future may depend on it.
So what am I trying to say? Nothing that hasn’t been said a lot better and more succinctly than in this video:
And also, that maybe I’ll be posting more regularly because, holy shit, someone has to be the voice of reason. The fact that it may be me is a joke onto itself.